- ―Mike's catchphrase
Michael Wazowski, or Mike for short, is the deuteragonist in the Disney•Pixar 2001 feature film Monsters, Inc., and the main protagonist in its 2013 prequel, Monsters University. He is voiced by Billy Crystal.
Mike is a proud and confident monster, partly defined by his friendship with James P. Sullivan, whom he works with as his Scaring Assistant, and drives him through an excersize regimen like a strict coach. They're best friends, room-mates, incredibly devoted to each other, although Mike seeks to improve their careers, partly because of the hard work and everything they've ever put into their jobs.
Mike has a romantic side, shown by his dating Celia Mae, whom he tells Sulley "is the one", presumably the one Mike wants to tie the knot with, and refers to as his "schmoopsie-poo", although he has a self-centered side, as he once commented "[he] oughta marry [himself]".
Like all monsters, Mike believes that human children are toxic with a poisonous touch, and his perfect world comes crashing down on his date with Celia when Sulley shows up with a human girl, whom he is much more afraid of than Sulley, believing the kid is "a killing machine", seeing her as a threat, to his and Sulley's lives, well-beings, their careers, referring to her as "it", a "thing", and not as a child, and was determined, if not desperate, to get rid of her, evident by wanting to put her back in the human world through any door, not just her own. Another reason he was warded from her might have been a pent-up resentment towards children when he realized they weren't scared of him.
His patience with Sulley was strained and tested to the point where Mike finally turned his back on Sulley but caved in, realizing that Boo was innocent, the bond Sulley had made with her was strong, and he followed Sulley back to help him save Boo from Randall and Waternoose.
After stranding Randall in the human world, and exposing Waternoose's plan to the CDA, Mike gave Boo his own fond farewell, tell her it had been fun, showing he too had come to care about her when they shared a hug.
A stray remark by Mike allowed Sulley to figure out and discover that human children's laughter was 10x more powerful than their screams, and together, with Sulley as the new CEO, they saved Monsters Inc., and solved Monstropolis' energy crisis.
Mike proved his friendship once more by restoring Boo's door after the CDA had it destroyed, despite how long it took considering "it was a lot of wood to go through".
By Mike's efforts, Sulley was reunited with Boo.
In Monsters University, Mike was vaguely the same but was determined to become a Scarer in MU's prestigious Scaring Program.
As a child, he'd been overlooked for being smaller than everyone but was inspired by Scarer Frank McCay to become one himself. With hard work and studying, he was accepted into MU and confidently strove to succeed.
In his first class, he learned from the Scaring Program's Dean Hardscrabble, that at the end of the semester a final exam would occur, failure would mean being dismissed from the Program, and it was here where Mike met James P. Sullivan, who had the natural talent and came from a family of successful scarers. After an intense first encounter with each other, involving Archie the Scare Pig, and an argument between them, they developed a rivalry in the Scaring Program but it soon showed to be no contest - Mike was acing his classes but Sulley was failing because he wasn't taking the study seriously.
The day of the final exam, another argument erupted between them, Mike expressing he had to work hard unlike Sulley while Sulley said it was because Mike didn't belong in the program. They started trying to scare the other, resulting in ruining Hardscrabble's prized scream-cannister, and she tested them both on the spot; Mike failed because she deemed him not scary while Sulley failed because he had not taken the study seriously nor had he waited for the dean to finish.
However, Mike's determination to prove he had what it takes led him to joining the Oozma Kappa fraternity to enter the Scare Games and making a wager with Hardscrabble: If Mike's team won, she would allow the whole team into the Scaring Program but if they lost, Mike would leave Monsters University.
The wager struck, Mike was forced to accept Sulley into the team to have enough members to qualify.
But their rivalry almost cost them losing the first round, it was only by the Jaws Theta Chi's cheating they were permitted to stay in the Games.
After getting publically humiliated by Roar Omega Roar and later seeing his team losing their spirit, Mike took them to Monsters Inc. to inspire them, and started training them, showing immense skill and potential in coaching. They made it through the rounds until the final games between them and ROR.
Against Johnny J. Worthington, III, Mike went last in the event, the Scare Simulator, and won his team the games and trophy, only to later find out that Sulley had tampered with the equipment so Mike would make a perfect scare, because Sulley didn't think Mike was scary.
Determined to prove everyone wrong, Mike stole a key into the door lab and entered the human world to scare a child, only to realize Sulley had been right when the children aren't scared of him at all.
When Sulley comes through to find him, Mike expresses his sadness, stating he thought if wanted it enough he could prove he was something special, and accused Sulley of not understanding him whereupon Sulley admitted his faults and, to Mike's shock, Sulley admitted he acted scary because he was terrified of the expectations he would have to live up to. Realizing they were stranded, Mike and Sulley worked together to scare a group of human adults to generate enough scream to power the door from their side in order to make it back home.
However, they were expelled from MU for their actions but bade their fraternity friends a fond farewell. Mike sadly bade Sulley goodbye as well, only for Sulley to express all the amazing things Mike had done, stating while Mike wasn't scary he was fearless. Dean Hardscrabble approached them, and admitted they'd done something no one had ever done: they'd surprised her, and encouraged them, particularly Mike, to keep surprising others and wishing them luck.
Mike then figured out they could still work at a scare company, at Monsters Inc.'s mailroom. After a long period of hard work, Mike and Sulley finally realized their dream of being a Scare-Team.
My Disney Experience Official Description
Mike keeps an eye on the door while Sulley gets the screams. They're the best team on the scare floor at Monsters, Inc.
AppearancesAs a young child, Mike sadly didn't have many friends, shown when he and his class went on a field trip to Monsters, Inc., and he was partnered with the teacher. Mike was amazed at the scare floor and the scarers themselves, and one scarer, "Frightening" Frank McCay, told him that he learned how to be a scarer at Monsters University. Mike secretly followed Frank into a door he was scaring in, much to the shock of his class and teacher. Frank was amazed, not even knowing Mike had been in the room with him, and gave him his Monsters University cap. Mike decided from then on, that he would grow up to be the best scarer of all.
Years later, thanks to his hard work and lots of studying, Mike is accepted as a freshman at the prestigious Monsters University, majoring in scaring. On his first day, Mike befriends his roommate, the nerdy and shy Randall "Randy" Boggs, who desires to be popular and has difficulty controlling his camouflage power.
While studying for the scare final one night, Mike encounters a fellow scare student, an arrogant, playful, all-brawn, large blue monster named James P. "Sulley" Sullivan, who inadvertently sneaks into Mike's room with Archie, the mascot of rival college, Fear Tech. After greeting each other, Archie steals Mike's hat and escapes. Mike and Sulley follow Archie outside where they have a struggle to capture Archie. When they do catch Archie, Sulley is invited to join Roar Omega Roar, the top fraternity on campus. Mike tries to join, but an argument with Sulley ignites a rivalry between the two.
Eventually, Mike and Sulley's petty competition gets out of hand and causes Dean Hardscrabble to drop both of them from the program and Sulley to be kicked out of his fraternity. Unhappy in his new major of Scream Can Design, Mike decides to prove himself by entering the Scare Games, a college competition to determine a monsters scaring abilities. However, the competitors are teams from MU's fraternities and sororities.
But hope arises when he joins Oozma Kappa, a fraternity of misfit monsters. Mike reluctantly lets Sulley join the team so they can enter, and makes a deal with Dean Hardscrabble for the entire Oozma Kappa fraternity to be allowed in the Scare Program if they win, but for Mike to leave Monsters University if they lose the games. Sulley is concerned since Oozma Kappa has a high level of ineptitude when it comes to scaring, but Mike decides to train them to be more scary.
Despite Mike and Sulley's rivalry, Oozma Kappa unexpectedly advances through the first rounds of the Games. During a party at ROR house, the ROR pranks Oozma Kappa and humiliates them in front of the whole university. Mike arranges a secret visit to Monsters Inc. lifts their spirits, causing Mike and Sulley to begin to like each other, and with Mike's help and training, Oozma Kappa makes it to the final round against ROR.
Even as the final round arrives, Sulley has a hard time believing Mike can be a good scarer. So in the final round, he manipulates the equipment so that Mike can register a perfect score and allow Oozma Kappa to win the tournament. When Mike discovers this, he is heartbroken and decides to prove to everyone that he is capable of being a good scarer. So, he breaks into the door lab and uses a newly-crafted door to enter the human world at a summer camp, but his plan goes wrong and he fails to scare the kids.
Sulley soon enters the door to look for Mike. After finding and reconciling with Mike, the pair attempt to return but Dean Hardscrabble deactivates the door until the Child Detection Agency arrives, trapping them in the human world. Mike realizes that the only way to get back into the monster world is to generate enough scream energy to power the door from their side. Using both Mike's knowledge and Sulley's natural abilities, Sulley and Mike are able to scare the investigating adults to the point that they are able to make back through the door. Their actions prompt their expulsion from the university, but before they leave, Hardscrabble acknowledges that Sulley and Mike have surprised her and she wishes them luck. Mike and Sulley decide to take jobs at Monsters, Inc. in the company mailroom, and over time, work their way up to janitors, then cafeteria workers, then scream can wranglers, until they become part of the scarer team, thus establishing the story for Monsters, Inc.
Mike Wazowski is Sulley's best friend and working partner at Monsters, Inc. He is Celia Mae's boyfriend and is constantly watched by Roz who seems to dislike him for always bringing in paperwork late. While at Harryhausen's for Celia's birthday, Sulley appeared out of nowhere to tell Mike that he had lead a human girl into the Monster World. Putting her into a Monsters, Inc. gym bag, Sulley tried to show him, but the human girl got out of the bag and wreaked havoc all over the restaurant. The two secretly took her out of the restaurant before the C.D.A. found her and disinfected the entire restaurant.
When they learn that their boss, Mr. Waternoose, and Randall are in on a scam of draining children of screams, Sulley tricks Waternoose into confessing, while Mike records the confession and smugly replays it to watching C.D.A agents who later arrest Waternoose.
Later, the energy crisis is solved when everyone uses laughter for power to go with the screams and Mike is one of the comedians.
Sometime after the film, Mike's low-budget company play Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me that he has starred in, written, directed, and produced comes in front of the audiences.
In the short, Mike is now the protagonist of his own story. He has brought a new six-wheel drive car, and wants to show it to Sulley. When they both get in the car, Sulley accidentally ruins the brand-new car and injures Mike. In the end, Mike speeds off and wrecks the car completely and then he misses his old car.
Mike occasionally appears as a meetable character in the parks but most common in shows. He used to wear his hard hat (which his performer would see through), but now wears his MU hat.
Recreating the storyline of the film, Mike appears with Sulley in this attraction as they try to get Boo safely home.
Mike is the host of the attraction, introducing the monster comedians and trying to prove to Roz that the Comedy Club model of collecting laugh energy will work.
Mike teaches the guests how to play flashlight tag.
Mike appears as a large puppet for the Carnival of Color pre-show from the original debut year.
Mike is a series one character that is sold individually. A Level 2 Mike Wazowski gives him a buddy bonus if he is partnered up with Sulley.
- Mike was listed #23 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters.
- In an early animation test, Mike was considered to have no arms and would have picked things up with his feet.
- In Monsters University, it is shown that Mike had braces as a child. As a teenager, he had a retainer.
- As revealed in an early cut-scene, Mike was originally Randall's assistant instead of Fungus.
- Mike is renamed "Bob Razowski" in the French dub.
- Mike has a brief cameo, swimming past in scuba gear during the credits of Finding Nemo, returning the favor, so to speak, after there is a Nemo cameo near the end of Monsters, Inc. The "gear" he is wearing was what he wore to "protect" himself from Boo in Monsters, Inc.
- Mike appears in the end credits of Cars as a small car. This car version of him also appears briefly in Tokyo Mater with Sulley when Mater drives through a building.
- He also starred in Tomorrowland's attraction, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, with Roz.
- A topper of Mike can be seen in WALL-E.
- In the original pitch of Monsters, Inc., Mike did not appear in the movie.
- Mike also wears a contact lens, which is said to be the size of a pizza.
- Mike has his own spell card in the Disney World attraction, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom called, "Mike's Grand Entrance."
- Mike is the second deuteragonist from a Pixar film to become the protagonist in his prequel or sequel. The first was Mater from Cars, where he was the secondary tritagonist in the first film and the protagonist in the second film.
- Whenever Mike Wazowski is shown on public media, such as a Monsters, Inc. commercial or a magazine cover, his face is actually always covered up by the text on said media (such as the Monsters, Inc. "M eyeball" logo in the commercial and a barcode on the magazine cover). Also, the DVD (and possibly the upcoming Blu-ray disc) for the film appears to take this even further by having the DVD artwork and the hole in the middle of the DVD used to secure it into place once inside the DVD player both positioned in a way so that the hole is actually placed over Mike's face!
- A similar thing occurred during Monsters University in which Mike's ID card has his head out of view.
- In Monsters University, Mike is 17, meaning that in Monsters, Inc. he is about 27.
- As pointed out by Dean Hardscrabble, Mike Wazowski can never become a scarer, so in the original film he ultimately becomes a comedian instead.
- The character's last name "Wazowski" resembles the name "Lebowski" from the movie The Big Lebowski, which is a film where two actors from Monsters, Inc., Steve Buscemi and John Goodman, had appeared.